Articles written by Philissa Cramer

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 By Philissa Cramer    News    May 24, 2024 

California university president placed on leave

(JTA) — On Tuesday night, the president of Sonoma State University sent an email to his school community announcing an academic boycott of Israel and other concessions to pro-Palestinian protesters on his campus. On Wednesday afternoon, he sent a...

 

Israel places 5th at Eurovision

(JTA) - Despite steep backlash including protests from other competitors, Israel's Eden Golan placed fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night after delivering a rousing final...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    May 10, 2024

From Michigan to Boston, pro-Palestinian protesters assert themselves at college graduations

(JTA) — Dozens of students unfurled Palestinian flags and banners at the main commencement ceremony of the University of Michigan. A single student staged a provocative demonstration during a ceremony at Northeastern University, raising hands s...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    May 3, 2024

Brandeis extends transfer deadline, appealing to Jewish students distressed by campus anti-Israel unrest

(JTA) — Brandeis University, the historically Jewish school outside Boston, has extended its transfer application deadline in a bid to appeal to students who are unhappy with their own schools’ responses to campus anti-Israel protests. The uni...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    April 19, 2024

World Central Kitchen's Jose Andres: 'Israel is better than the way this war is being waged'

(JTA) - The celebrity chef behind the nonprofit whose aid workers were killed in an IDF strike on Tuesday is appealing to Israel, and the Jewish people, to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    March 29, 2024

Purim celebrations tempered by trauma and thoughts of the hostages

(JTA) — In Jerusalem, a service omitted the loud noise-making associated with the holiday in order to accommodate soldiers traumatized by months of war. In Tel Aviv, bakeries peddled a triangular treat renamed for a contemporary villain, the l...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    March 29, 2024

Israel's star English-language spokesman is suspended

(JTA) — Eylon Levy, the English-language spokesman for Israel widely praised for defending the beleaguered country in English-language media, has been suspended and is unlikely to return to his role, Israeli media is reporting. According to the I...

 

2 Matisyahu concerts in the Southwest are canceled after pro-Palestinian activists protest

(JTA) — Two concerts by Matisyahu, the American Jewish singer famous for his peace anthem “One Day,” have been canceled after pro-Palestinian protesters targeted venues where he was set to perform. Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, canceled one c...

 

Emmanuel Macron hosts ceremony honoring 42 French victims of Oct. 7 attack on Israel

(JTA) — French President Emmanuel Macron presided over a somber ceremony in Paris on Feb. 7 to honor the 42 French nationals murdered during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel. France flew relatives of the victims on a special flight to the c...

 

Israel investigating Hamas claims that Ariel and Kfir Bibas were killed in Gaza

(JTA) — Israel is investigating Hamas’ claim that its youngest hostages, brothers Kfir and Ariel Bibas, are dead, along with their mother Shiri. The Bibas family became an early face of the hostage crisis after Hamas released a video showing Shi...

 

Israel at war: Death toll climbs, IDF regains control of border towns as Hamas attack enters day 3; 'complete siege' of Gaza planned

(Oct. 9, 2023, JTA) — A massive military operation is underway to place Gaza under a “complete siege,” Israel’s defense minister said on Monday, 48 hours after a surprise attack by Hamas left 800 Israelis dead, thousands wounded and more than 10...

 

Death toll climbs, IDF regains control of border towns as Hamas attack enters day 3; 'complete siege' of Gaza planned

This story will be updated. (Oct. 9, 2023, JTA) — A massive military operation is underway to place Gaza under a “complete siege,” Israel’s defense minister said on Monday, 48 hours after a surprise attack by Hamas left 800 Israelis dead, thousan... Full story

 

'Barbie' director Greta Gerwig wants the movie's viewers to 'feel like I did at Shabbat dinner'

(JTA) - Barbie the doll has a deep Jewish history. Now, the creator of "Barbie" the movie hopes watching the film will also evoke a deep Jewish experience. Greta Gerwig, who conceived and directed...

 

Helen Mirren plays Golda Meir in a new film. The two are also (kind of) related

JERUSALEM (JTA) - Helen Mirren will soon become linked with Golda Meir in the minds of many viewers when she plays the late Israeli prime minister in a new film. But the award-winning actress has anot...

 

'Jeopardy!' featured a suburban Detroit synagogue once called 'a concrete Sinai on the shoulder of Interstate 696'

(JTA) - Viewers of the popular game show "Jeopardy!" got a glance of one of the United States' most distinctive synagogue buildings on Tuesday, after a clue showcased Congregation Shaarey Zedek in...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    June 30, 2023

Tel Aviv University to remove Sackler name from medical school, weeks after family set terms of opioid settlement

(JTA) — For years, as the Sackler name fell from art museums, colleges and even a wing of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater amid revelations about the family’s contributions to the opioid crisis, it remained very much attached to the medical school at Tel...

 

Israel to invest $40 million in North American Jewish day schools

(JTA) — Citing “a major crisis in Jewish education,” Israel’s Diaspora ministry plans to pour about $40 million into training educators at Jewish schools in the United States and Canada. Amichai Chikli, Israel’s minister of Diaspora affairs,...

 

Rabbi Kushner dies at 88

(JTA) - Rabbi Harold Kushner, one of the most influential congregational rabbis of the 20th century whose works of popular theology reached millions of people outside the synagogue, died on April 28,...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    May 12, 2023

British Jewish schoolchildren presented a new 'Adon Olam' for their king's coronation

(JTA) — Among the many honors accruing to King Charles III coronation was a new version of a traditional prayer performed by a British-Jewish children’s choir. United Synagogue, the union of British Orthodox synagogues, commissioned a new rec...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    April 28, 2023

Netanyahu cancels appearance at US Jewish event in Tel Aviv hours before planned protests

(JTA) — In a surprise move, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has backed out of his appearance at a major conference of U.S. Jewish leaders in Tel Aviv, just hours before a speech that was expected to draw mass protests. But in a sign that t...

 

Mad Magazine cartoonist who also inked Chabad comic dies at 102

(JTA) - Perhaps the greatest influence on Al Jaffee, known to readers of Mad Magazine as the creator of the "Fold-In," was the time he spent living in a Lithuanian shtetl as a child. Jaffee had been...

 

This Jewish studies professor won $60,000 on 'Jeopardy!'

(JTA) - The most notable message Melissa Klapper got during her four-night run on "Jeopardy!" didn't come because the Jewish studies scholar was unable to answer a question about Yom Kippur. It also...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    April 7, 2023

A 'historic' day in Israel ends with a political compromise - and big questions about the future

(JTA) — Like hundreds of thousands of her fellow Israelis, Kelly Breakstone Roth’s instinct on Sunday was to take to the streets. The only wrinkle: She and her family have been in Brooklyn for the last two years, part of the diaspora of hundreds of...

 

'Fiddler' star Topol dies at 87

(JTA) - Chaim Topol won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of an immigrant to Israel, stepped off the stage in London to fight for his country and had his sketches of Israeli presidents turned into...

 
 By Philissa Cramer    News    March 3, 2023

'Day of Hate' against Jews passes with packed synagogues and no violence

(JTA) — A “National Day of Hate” against Jews planned by white supremacists that triggered sweeping warnings from law enforcement and Jewish security officials came and went without significant incident on Saturday. Synagogues and Jewish institutions...

 

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